Various Artists: Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 - Disc 1 of 5 CD Track Listing

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Various Artists Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 - Disc 1 of 5 (2006)
Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 - Disc 1 of 5\n2006 Rhino/Elektra Records\n\nOriginally Released October 30, 2006 or January 23, 2007\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: This five-CD set (which also includes a bonus CD-ROM) is not the biggest, most massive box set that you've ever encountered -- back in the late '90s, Deutsche Grammophon had out something about the size of a cello case (with a pair of handles on it) that contained the label's entire recorded output of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, although, to be fair, that wasn't much more than a hyper-mega-packaging of existing CDs, CD sets, and box sets. This set, on the other hand, is very much an elaborately designed creation, specifically remastered and assembled for this release, and its packaging is custom-conceived from the individual song up through to the outer box. And in the context of popular music, this set is certainly in the running alongside some of Bear Family's most ambitious creations, for sheer size and weight -- (anyone on any kind of heart medication who decides they want this set and doesn't own a car or feel like springing for a taxi should probably order it and have it shipped to their home, rather than buy it at a store and transport it themselves, at least unless they check with their doctor first). Ironically enough, the very fact that this is, indeed, a "popular music" box set says something about the end of Elektra Records' history that is embraced by its contents, Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973, and a limitation in its scope and content -- you won't mind buying it, but you'll heartily wish (and would have bought it that much faster) there were a companion volume of some sort covering the label's history from 1953 through 1963, a time when the company's output included such curiosities as physician-turned-folksinger Shep Ginandes (who was to the postwar folksinging community in Boston the same kind of godfather that Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies were to home-grown blues in England) and the soundtracks to documentary movies by Maya Deren, and when founder Jac Holzman (whose participation was all over this set) would have been astounded to see Elektra's output designated as "popular" music.\n\nOn the other hand, the box at hand, opening as it does with Judy Collins' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and closing with Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive" a decade later speaks volumes, not only about changes in the record company across that later time period, but also about changes in the society to which it was offering its music during that same era. Those buying the set will need a good-sized and sturdy table on which to open it, and to dig down, past a folder containing art prints of four classic album covers from the label, a package of postcards devoted to a larger handful of significant artists, a set of publicity shots devoted to the Doors, Love, Queen, and Tom Rush; a pair of Elektra emblem pin badges; and a 96-page hardcover book chock-full of information, essays, commentary, and more by Holzman and the artists themselves (which is another reason one yearns for a volume covering Elektra's first decade -- those are the artists who are truly lost to time and very much need an account of this sort on their behalf). With all of that material inside, the set isn't really devised for convenience of use, a fact of which you'll be reminded in your inability to find the "numbered exclusive certificate of authenticity" supposedly included, which hardly matters -- to borrow from the title of Holzman's autobiography, which is represented here on the bonus CD-ROM, one buys this to "follow the music," not to prize a numbered edition, or as an investment (the Mosaic Records boxes are wiser acquisitions in the latter regard). But following the music is made slightly difficult by the design of the set; why is it that the makers of all of these mega-boxes, from the joint EMI/Columbia Pink Floyd set Shine On and RCA's Duke Ellington career retrospective and on to this release, can't devise an easy way to store and access the CDs and, more importantly, include artist and song information on the individual CD packaging?\n\nSome of the artists on disc one, such as Judy Collins, Judy Henske (whose "High Flying Bird" is one of the highlights of the whole set for anyone who doesn't know it -- and anyone hearing it for the first time may rightly wonder why she never got nearly as well-known or found as wide an audience as Grace Slick or Janis Joplin), Phil Ochs, Richard Farina, Tom Rush, Fred Neil, and the Doors are obvious, but many are far less so, and keeping up with it means dealing with a listing separate from the handsome CD package itself, either in the hardcover book or one of the other documents in the package. But in terms of the sound, it is mightily impressive, whether one is listening to the field-call of "Linin' Track" by Koerner, Ray & Glover or the instrumental "The Even Dozens" by the Even Dozen Jog Band; and the makers were clever enough to get such deserving figures as Bob Gibson and Hamilton Camp represented separately, on "Duke's Song (Fare Thee Well)" and "Pride of Man," respectively (of which the latter is one of several places where this volume brushes up against the folk-rock boom and the psychedelic era that followed in the wake of much of the music here). This CD probably straddles the greatest gap of the set, from reinterpretations of traditional folk to the Doors' "Moonlight Drive," though the latter song doesn't convincingly belong on this CD, so much as on the next volume.\n\nDisc two is devoted to Elektra's gradual switch in mid-decade from folk to more elaborately conceived and arranged (and heavily amplified) music, opening with Love's "My Little Red Book" and intermingling the work of the Doors, Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, David Blue, Tim Buckley, Clear Light, the Holy Modal Rounders, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Incredible String Band, and Earth Opera, as well as encompassing such less familiar names as the Zodiac Cosmic Sounds, Alasdair Clayre, and Waphphle -- it marks the place where the folkies and blues artists all added instruments and began stretching out what they did with them, and the label also signed rock bands that knew distinctly more than three or four chords, and about a lot else besides playing music (though the latter was true of virtually every artist that Holzman ever signed up). And even though most of the performers here have their work represented on CD already, often in updated, audiophile-quality editions, the sound throughout this disc is still pretty damned impressive. Disc three is where it all blossoms, leaping the gap from amplified folk, blues, and pop variations to bolder messages and groups founded on harder sounds -- the Doors are still here, as are Judy Collins and Tom Rush, but Collins' "Both Sides Now" is present as a representative of Joni Mitchell's songwriting in the first acquaintanceship that most listeners had with it, and not entirely out-of-sync with Love's "Alone Again Or" or Tom Paxton's "Jennifer's Rabbit" in its rather elaborately arranged electric version. And surrounding them are Nico, the Doors, David Ackles, Rhinoceros, David Stoughton, the Stalk-Forrest Group, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Crabby Appleton, and Bread -- and the MC5 and the Stooges, both of whom carried the label into a crunchy, defiant music territory far from its roots, mining deep into a popular culture and an audience that was a world away from the one that had existed just three years before.\n\nDisc four opens with the Stooges' "Down on the Street" and weaves across the work of Harry Chapin and Carly Simon, as well as such label stalwarts as Judy Collins (who was selling more records than ever) and Hamilton Camp (who wasn't), and takes us down roads old and new, into pop music as well as eclectic obscurities such as Cyrus Faryar, Plainsong, and Courtland Pickett, until we get to Queen, whose "Keep Yourself Alive" closes out the main section of the set. But in case that musical journey and the obscure musical notables included on the way aren't enough to satisfy the true music obsessive who would buy this set, there's a fifth disc, titled "Another Time, Another Place," which delves into a kind of alternate history of Elektra, and some of the important one-offs, blind alleys, and ultimately unsigned and lost acts that littered the company's history, as well as releases that somehow fit outside of the conception of the other discs here -- everyone from Eric Clapton & the Powerhouse and the Byrds in their early incarnation as the Beefeaters to David Peel & the Lower East Side, and Joseph Spence, a Caribbean singer from the album The Real Bahamas, which helped launch what eventually became the Nonesuch Explorer label. There are also oddities such as the 1966 Judy Collins single "I'll Keep It with Mine" (presenting the singer in a fascinating but ultimately abandoned electric folk-rock setting), the Charles River Valley Boys' bluegrass Beatles stylings, and some of the company's very late signings before Holzman's exit -- Simon Stokes' swamp rock "Voodoo Woman" and Eclection's Jefferson Airplane-influenced "Please (Mark II)" are the most interesting, but they're all well worth hearing -- when Elektra was absorbed into the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic corporate identity.\n\nEach CD is mastered on a black-vinyl-style platter and re-creates one of the appropriate period Elektra label designs, and the whole release is an exceptional listening experience, but more to the point, it's all fun and enjoyable, mostly because the makers have avoided any obvious boundaries in doing their jobs: tracks such as Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now" and Harry Chapin's "Taxi," which were hated by many critics but sold millions of copies, are juxtaposed with pieces by the Stooges, which sold in the thousands but were immensely important and influential on two subsequent generations of musicians -- and they're on the same box with David Peel's compellingly subversive "Alphabet Song"; it's diversity in the name of completeness and telling a great larger story engagingly through the music, which ultimately matters more than the elaborate packaging or the visual paraphernalia. There's a good month's listening, at least here (plus the CD-ROM, which is Mac- and Windows-compatible and includes Holzman's Follow the Music plus an Elektra discography) and a lot more reading to go with it if that's what one wants, and the only event that could make this release even better than it is in the listening would be a further volume devoted to the earlier history of the label, to fill in that end of the music. -- Bruce Eder\n\nAmazon.com Editorial Review\nFounded in 1950, Jac Holzman's Elektra label grew from its folk roots, embracing the burgeoning blues and rock scenes of the '60s and eventually becoming a major force in the pop music marketplace of the '70s. This five-disc set not only celebrates its years of ascendancy and experimentation, but also explores beyond the familiar into some very obscure but still potent recordings. The first four discs proceed in relative chronological order (the fifth is devoted to rarities and assorted efforts from the fringes). Introduced by the better-known songs and acts, the discs open with Judy Collins, Love (twice!), and the Stooges. Each disc is also its own little journey that reminds us of how rich Elektra's catalog is--the Incredible String Band, Fred Neil, Nico, and many more found their way into record collections of the era and continue to resonate. However, it's the more forgotten acts that make this box so exciting, as the Wackers, David Ackles, Plainsong, Paul Siebel, and many others burst forth from the speakers. Even among the well-known there are some nice surprises, such as an early version of the Doors' "Moonlight Drive" (sounding more like one of the label's folk-blues performers) and the harder-edged punch of Judy Collins's "Hard Lovin' Loser." --David Greenberger \n\nAmazon.com Product Description\nA Spectacular Anthology of the Best from the Elektra Records Label as it Evolved from Folk to Folk-rock Music and Eventually Embracing Electric Rock Based Artists at the Core of It's Roster. "Forever Changing" was Meticulously Assembled and Great Care Given to It's Contents. Opening with Pivotal Early Folk Artists Like Judy Collins, Fred Neil and Phil Ochs, in the Wake of Dylan's Appearance at Newport in 1965, the Label Became the Home of Electric Music with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Then Key Signings with Love, the Doors and the Extraordinarily Unique Tim Buckley. Elektra Never Lost Its Folk Roots and as the Decades Changed, the Label Embraced Singer/Songwriters Like Carly Simon, Harry Chapin and the Sweet Sounds of Bread. Yet in 1969, Elektra Released Debut Albums by the Stooges, Mc5 and Queen, Groups that have Significantly Impacted Young Musicians to this Day. The Label Had Evolved with the Times, Showcasing Only the Best and the Brightest in Modern Musicians. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nnuggets of the folky variety, March 4, 2007\nReviewer: attentive listener "dubs" (Joysey)\nThere are some real forgotten gems here. If you've enjoyed any of Rhino's other comprehensive mining operations, this is a no brainer. When I first saw the track list and listened to the 30 second lo-fi snippets, I thought this might be a risky acquisition. I'm sure glad I ignored that initial evaluation. I would never have guessed that Judy Collins would neatly fit in with my other musical interests. Show a little faith, this collection really stands up and grows some hair. Royal flush, aces, back to back. \n\nI shopped it around as the prices on this were all over the map. \n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\n\n\nHalf.com Details \nProducer: Mick Houghton (Compilation), Phil Smee (Compilation), Stuart Batsford (Compilation) \n\nAlbum Notes\nRecording information: 1963 - 1973.
This misc cd contains 28 tracks and runs 76min 39sec.
Freedb: a911f51c
Buy: from Amazon.com


: Music



  1. Various Artists - Judy Collins / Turn! Turn! Turn! + To Everything There Is A Season (03:41)
  2. Various Artists - Dian & The Greenbriar Boys / He Was A Friend (03:02)
  3. Various Artists - Judy Henske / High Flying Bird (02:59)
  4. Various Artists - Bob Gibson / Dink's Song (Fare Thee Well) (02:36)
  5. Various Artists - Dick Rosmini / Casey (02:00)
  6. Various Artists - Dick Rosmini / Shady Grove (01:12)
  7. Various Artists - Dick Rosmini / Little Brown Dog (02:00)
  8. Various Artists - Koerner, Ray & Glover / Linin' Truck (02:18)
  9. Various Artists - The Even Dozen Jug Band / The Even Dozens (02:55)
  10. Various Artists - Vince Martin & Frank Neil / Wild Child In A World Of Trouble (02:19)
  11. Various Artists - 'Spider' John Koerner / Good Luck Child (02:10)
  12. Various Artists - Geoff Muldaur / Downtown Blues (02:31)
  13. Various Artists - Phil Ochs / I Ain't Marching Anymore (02:36)
  14. Various Artists - Tom Paxton / The Last Thing On My Mind (03:08)
  15. Various Artists - Hamilton Camp / Pride Of Man (02:11)
  16. Various Artists - Judy Collins / Tomorrow Is A Long Time (04:11)
  17. Various Artists - The Dillards with Byron Berline / Black Mountain Rag (02:20)
  18. Various Artists - Kathy And Carol / Green Rocky Road (02:30)
  19. Various Artists - Phil Boroff / Cocaine (03:03)
  20. Various Artists - Richard Fari
  21. Various Artists - Dave Ray / West Egg Rag (01:31)
  22. Various Artists - Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis / Two Trains Running (02:27)
  23. Various Artists - Oliver Smith / Breeze (02:37)
  24. Various Artists - Tom Rush / Joshua Gone Barbados (04:12)
  25. Various Artists - Fred Neil / Other Side To This Life (02:57)
  26. Various Artists - Dino Valente / Birdses (02:35)
  27. Various Artists - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band / Blues With A Feeling (04:24)
  28. Various Artists - The Doors / Moonlight Drive (Early Version) (02:29)

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